Creative Habits: How to Enhance Your Artistic Journey

If you’re ready to build more creative habits into your life, celebrated choreographer Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, shares this bit of wisdom:

“Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.”

creative habits twyla tharp lottery ticket

Surround yourself with inspiration

Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit (affiliate) is one of my favorite books on the topic of baking creativity into our daily lives, and I urge you to check it out if this is of interest!

Where Can You Start with Building Creative Habits?

Piggybacking on Tharp’s suggestions of reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, and nature, I made a short list of 9 ways to get started.

If you’d like to save this list in a nice and tidy printable form, scroll to the bottom for a printable inspiration list.

🎨 Daily art making: Establish a habit of daily art creation so you can build momentum with your art habit. Click that link for our 365 daily art tracker.

📸 Photography Walks: Capture little details through the lens of your camera. Choose a theme or snap what interests you. For example, take a daily picture of a tree to observe how it changes over time. Another idea is to choose a color and take pictures of things you notes in that color.

📚 Reading: Integrate reading into your daily routine by exploring different genres to broaden your perspective and fuel your imagination.

📔 Journaling: Make journaling a daily habit to reflect on your experiences. For instance, start the day with notes about what you want to experience, or wrap up the day with notes on what you observed. This is a great way to establish or unravel the threads of inspiration from your day.

More Ways to Build Creative Habits

🎵 Attend a Live Concert: The rush and energy of live music can spark new creative ideas, so you could start by looking in the local events to see what’s coming to a venue near you.

📚 Explore a Library: Libraries are full of interesting threads to follow. For example, wander through the aisles, pick up books at random, explore a theme that you’re curious about, or look at a topic you’ve never considered before.

🎤 Listen to a Lecture: By hearing from experts in various fields, you gain fresh perspectives and ideas, which you can seamlessly weave into your own creative work. For instance, look at local college or library event schedules for upcoming speakers.

🖼 Visit an Art Gallery: Check out the work of other artists and historic artifacts to fuel your imagination with various techniques, media, and concepts.

🌱 Spend Time in Nature: Regular walks in nature can be meditative and peaceful. When you’re outside, observe the details such as the patterns of leaves or the play of light and shadow, to glean ideas for your work.

Set aside some inspiration time in your day and see what kind of lottery ticket you’ll uncover.

The lottery ticket investments I’m making this month:

  • Daily Art Making: I’m mostly working in a sketchbook. Some days I’m crafting, painting on wood panels, or collaging with scraps of paper
  • Photography: My phone is usually with me so this is an easy one to do each day I’ve been taking pictures of textures, compositions, and ideas that spark my imagination. The details add up over time.
  • Reading: I’m following a curiosity about Stanford’s history, and reading a book I was gifted: Who Killed Jane Stanford. I’m also revisiting old favorites such as Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit, and Corita Kent’s Learning By Heart: Teaching To Free The Creative Spirit.
  • Journaling. Spending a few minutes reflecting at the end of day on how the day went and what my thoughts are for the following day.

Every new experience adds possibilities to your creative toolkit.

Download the PDF: 9 Ways to Cultivate Your Creative Habit

Paste it in an art journal, pin it to a corkboard, or tape it to a wall. Download this Creative Habits PDF to inspire you for when ideas aren’t flowing.

Get the Free PDF here ⤵